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Yuriy Sokolov

Dmytro Kuzovkin


born in Lviv


studied at Lviv State Polytechnical Institute, defartment of architecture


lectured at Lviv Institute of Applied Art (now Lviv National Art Academy), department of interior design


passed away in Lviv


Principal works as a curator (based on autobiography from 1999):



Invitation to Discussion, Photography Museum, Lviv 


The Theatre of Things of the Ecology of Subjects, Hotel Dnister, Lviv


Plus90, International Meeting of Artists, Lviv


On a Saturday Evening, Group of Moscow artists, in cooperation with A. TerOganian, Museum of Lenin, Lviv


A. Aksinin and others, Central House of Artists, Moscow


In Quest of Temptation. Female Exhibition, National Museum of Ethnography, Lviv


founded Artspace Decima


founder and chairman of the 7th Lviv Academy of Art and Literature after Mike Johanssen


Where is Art?, Dominik Reymann Gallery, Switzerland


The Mud, the Bosch and ..., Artspace Decima, Lviv


Participation in exhibions and symposia (based on autobiography from 1999):



Zero Class, СтаlArt Gallery, Lviv


Zaimpresa Festival, IvanoFrankivsk


Million of Flowers, Museum of Etnography, Lviv


Время Time Тайна, Fort of Art, Krakow


Mazepa, Kyiv Fortress


MYYour Gallery, Convert project


Honeycombing Object, Lviv


1/4 of Hole, Artspace Decima, Lviv


Letter Word Sentence, Fortress of Art, Krakow


Laboratory '98. International Art Symposium, Vysne Ruzbachy, Slovakia


Yuriy Sokolov's artistic practice including his extensive curatorial and institutional work could not be better defined than in his own words as "life art". Since mid-1980's his attitudes have acquired various forms - starting from big interantional group exhibitions that he organized in late 1980s in Lviv, through establishment of fictional (7th Lviv Academy of Art and Literature after Mike Johanssen) and real institutions (Decima Gallery, Chervoni Rury Gallery) to his writings, conceptual and performative pieces of the 1990s and quiet and covert practice of assembling personal and found images into photo albums of the early 2010s. After a 10-year break in public activity, Sokolov opened his doors on Efremova24 again to welcome younger artists and researchers and share his extensive, yet unstructured archive. The archive is being processed and published here gradually. 

For My Wife
mixed media

An archival album in which the artist assembled personal photos, documetation of his curatorila and artistic projects, texts, DIY-publications and other materials relevant to his conceptual practice. The album was a present to his wife on the occasion of their performative wedding in Switzerland. 

gallery, 10 Rynok Square, Lviv

The entrance hall of the Museum of Etnography and Applied Art on Rynok Square in Lviv was offered to Yuriy Sokolov as a space to do contemporary art shows, which then was a relatively new practice in the city. According to the official press-release Decima gallery was founded in December 1993 as a public non-for-profit institution by a narrow circle of Lviv intelligentsia — culturologists, artists, architects, writers. The first exhibition was a group show "Searching for Whimsical Seduction" with 13 female artists form Lviv, Kyiv and Bern. According to Hlib Vysheslavsky's testimony, Decima programming had a highly conceptual character: "Mythoforms" by Stas Gorsky appealed to the problem of national identity through his work with remainings of iron mold of a Shevchenko monument; "Transit" by Yuriy Solomko evoked the felling of nostalgia through recreation of a 1950s living room in the gallery space; "Millions of Flowers" by Yuriy Sokolov aimed at establishing a direct relationship with the achivements of Western and Russian conceptualisms.

Despite its active programme and local popularity, the gallery was closed shortly after the opening due to disagreements with the premises’ owners. However, Yuriy Sokolov continued Decima's programming on his private territory later known as Chervony Rury gallery.

Chervoni Rury
gallery, 24 Efremova Str., Lviv

As a logical successor of Decima Gallery this artist-run space occupied the cellar, the attic and the green backyard of the building Yuriy Sokolov has lived in. The gallery exhibited pioneering site-specific installations, performances and conceptual pieces of various Lviv-based artists as well as hosted occasional parties of informal artistic circles. Today the backyard decorated with the remains of Sokolov’s sculpture symposiums and Japanese stone garden has become an artifact in its own right. The attic serves as a storage for his rich but unstructured archive. While the bunker-like cellar fulfills its original purpose in keeping pickles.

Yuriy Sokolov: "We had such friends and such opportunities: this apartment itself, this cellar, this attic were an big part of my interests and life at large. It was not exhibition-making that was so important as getting together to have a drink, but not in the sense of boozing it up, but rather talk to each other, communicate, treat the guests... And the square meters allow you to receive people and need to be willing and kind enough to do it, but also you ought to have rave in some sublime sense. It's tusovka as a lifestyle and as a kind of practice."

Millions of Flowers
action, Decima Gallery, Lviv

"Millions of Flowers" was an homage to Western conceptual and minimal art as well as to Russian actionism. As Hlib Vysheslavsky put it, "it was a minimalist conceptual statement - a reflection on the work of his collegues including actions by Avdey Ter-Oganian at Trehprudny Lane in Moscow and the activities of The Kitchen, New York. While his tools were pronouncedly minimal: elder flowers all over the floor and several machine-typed texts on the walls." 

Optical Conceptualism